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January 30, 2014


White House White House Releases Implementation Plan for the National Strategy for the Arctic Region. Today the White House released the Implementation Plan for the National Strategy for the Arctic Region. The Administration solicited input from Alaska Natives, the State of Alaska, Congress, academia, industry and others to develop an Implementation Plan that sets forth the guidelines for Federal Departments and Agencies to execute the National Strategy for the Arctic Region. The Implementation Plan complements and builds upon existing initiatives by Federal, State, local, and tribal authorities, the private sector, and international partners, and also focuses efforts where opportunities exist and action is most needed. The White House 


The press release will soon be available here. The document is available to download via this link.  


capital Today's Congressional Action:   

The House and Senate are expected to consider non-Arctic legislation today.  



Waxman Won't Seek Reelection. Longtime Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) will retire from the House, his office confirmed to The Hill.  Waxman, a legislative giant  longtime ally of Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and former chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, Waxman was particularly instrumental in pushing healthcare reform through Congress. "As I reflect on my career, I am filled with gratitude.  I am grateful for the support of my constituents, who have entrusted me to represent them and encouraged me to become a leader on national and international issues..." The Hill


Shell in Chukchi Shell Gives Up Arctic Drilling for 2014. Shell announced Thursday it is pulling out of drilling in the Arctic Ocean for 2014. The company cited a federal appeals court decision that found the environmental analysis developed by the Interior Department for Arctic lease sales is seriously flawed. The ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court raised obstacles to Shell's plan for drilling off the coast of Alaska, the company said in a statement. The Hill


Shell and Exxon Report Drop in Profits. Royal Dutch Shell said on Thursday that it would step up its sales of oil and gas fields and other assets and sharply cut capital investment this year in an ambitious plan to reshape the company and improve its financial performance. The company, in confirming a steep profit fall for the fourth quarter, said that it would be restructuring its North American oil and gas operations, where it has overcommitted to developing shale gas and has had to write off losses. It also said it would restructure its global oil refining unit. New York Times


Foss is Upbeat on the Arctic. Foss Maritime Builds New Ice-Class Tugs as it embarks on a new Arctic Challenge. To support growing Arctic business, Seattle-based Foss Maritime Company is building three ocean-going tugs at its Rainier Shipyard in Oregon on the Columbia River. These 132 feet-long, Ice Class vessels will have strengthened hulls designed to withstand the harsh, Arctic climate conditions into which they will eventually be deployed. MarineLink 


Norway's Prime Minister Calls for Advancing North's Knowledge Economy. Although last week's Arctic Frontiers conference in Troms?, Norway focused on the activities of "humans in the Arctic," from sleeping habits to snowmobile accidents in Svalbard, top politicians still made headline appearances. The Prime Minister of Norway, along with Greenland's Prime Minister and Finland's Foreign Minister, spoke on Tuesday, the second day of the conference. Tuesday's attendance was actually higher than that on the opening day, evincing the high level of interest in the politicians' speeches, perhaps especially since the Norwegian and Greenlandic prime ministers were both recently elected. Alaska Dispatch


Polar bear Polar Bears Adapt to Warmer Arctic by Eating Snow Goose Eggs. Arctic ice is melting sooner in the spring, driving polar bears to dry land earlier in the year. Unable to prey on seals, the bears are finding other sources of food: goose eggs. The bears are now coming ashore during the nesting season of the many waterfowl that breed around Hudson Bay. As the video shows, the white bears have become adept at nest robbing and snow goose eggs are among their new favorite foods. A nest holds four to five eggs, and researchers say 88 goose eggs contain the same amount of protein as one seal. Bears raid other nests as well, including sea ducks like eiders and other birds that nest in the tundra around Hudson Bay. Field and Stream


Nunavut Ecotourism Program Nominated for Major Award. The Arviat Community Ecotourism program has been nominated for an award by the World Travel and Tourism Council based in London. Arviat Community Ecotourism, also called ACE, is one of three international finalists in the community award category. Arviat, population 2,850, is a small Inuit community in Canada's eastern Arctic territory of Nunavut. Alaska Dispatch 

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No legislative action was formally considered yesterday.

Future Events


The Arctic Encounter Symposium, February 7-8, 2014 (Seattle, Washington). The goal of the Arctic Encounter Symposium is to engage participants in a focused discussion, through a balanced forum, highlighting shared interests and concerns of the United States and the global community as we look north to the last emerging frontier - the Arctic. The Symposium will incorporate a diverse group of leaders and experts to debate how a rapidly changing Arctic will impact international law, domestic policy, business and commerce, the environment, and the people of the Far North. Speakers include policy makers, industry leaders, scientists, and academic experts. The two-day Symposium will take place at Seattle University School of Law with a dinner reception at the Seattle Aquarium on Pier 59. US Arctic Research commissioners Fran Ulmer and Edward Itta will be speaking.

Arctic Technology Conference, February 10-12, 2014 (Houston, TX). Founded in 1969, the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) provides offshore resources in the fields of drilling, exploration, production and environmental protection. The Arctic Technology Conference (ATC) is built upon OTC's successful multidisciplinary approach, with 14 technical societies and organizations. The conference is an international event focused on continuing innovative technologies and solutions needed for exploration and production of energy within the circum-Arctic.


Developing Alaska's Marine Workforce, February 14, 2014. (Anchorage, Alaska, USA). The North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA) hosts the luncheon. Discussion will focus on industry strategies for moving forward to secure Alaska's future needs for an educated and trained workforce are met. Feature presentations include a recap of NAMEPA's 2012 meeting, University of Alaska updates on the FSMI (Alaska's Fisheries, Seafood, Maritime Initiative) Workforce Development Plan and trends in education and training. 


Arctic Ambitions, February 27-28, 2014 (Girdwood, Alaska). World Trade Center Alaska will host Arctic Ambitions III: Commercial Development of the Arctic. This conference focuses solely on Arctic international trade and business opportunities. It is anticipated that about 200 business and government leaders attending next year's conference.

Arctic Ambitions III will concentrate on the theme of international trade and business opportunities that flow from resource development in the Arctic. While policy and research inform the discussion, the conference focuses on global markets, international trade and logistics. The previous two conferences brought together presenters from Canada, Finland, Norway, Russia, Korea and Alaska. USARC Chair Fran Ulmer will be a speaker. 


Arctic 2050, March 12, 2014 (Brussels, Belgium). The 4th European Marine Board Forum will bring together Arctic stakeholders from multiple sectors (science, industry, policy & governance, NGOs, etc.) to: discuss current trends and patterns of change in Arctic Ocean ecosystems, including human activity; identify possible "2050" scenarios for Arctic Change and the corresponding implications for human health and well-being; highlight key research gaps, needs and challenges in support of understanding, mitigating against, or adapting to Arctic change; stimulate dialogue across sectors to aid common understanding, collaborative actions and sustainability targets; promote a vision for a sustainable ecosystem-based management of the Arctic Ocean by 2050.


44th Annual International Arctic Workshop, March 14-16, 2014 (Boulder, CO). The Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research of the University of Colorado will host the workshop. This year's theme is "Arctic's New Normal." The workshop will consider shifting environmental baselines over decades to millennia and comparisons with the Antarctic. Previous workshops have included presentations on Arctic and Antarctic climate, atmospheric chemistry, environmental geochemistry, paleoenvironment, archeology, geomorphology, hydrology, glaciology, soils, ecology, oceanography, Quaternary history and more.


Association of American Geographers Polar Geography Sessions, April 8-12, 2014 (Tampa, Florida).  Polar Geography Sessions are being planned in areas such as Sustainable Development in the Arctic, Urbanization and Transportation in the Arctic, etc. Contact Scott Stephenson ( for more information, and see attached flyer. 


Arctic Science Summit Week April 5-8, 2014 and Arctic Observing Summit, April 9-11 (Helsinki, Finland). ASSW is a gathering for Arctic research organizations. Any organization engaged in supporting and facilitating arctic research is welcome to participate. The ASSW meeting in 2014 will be arranged during April 5-8 in Helsinki Kumpula Campus, in the facilities of FMI and Physics Department of the University of Helsinki. Second circular here


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